Over 300 districts in India celebrate Mahila Kisan Diwas!

Women farmers across India answer the call for Mahila Kisan Diwas and call for greater engagement of women in the farmers’ agitation

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More than 300 districts saw women farmers assert their rights as Indian farmers on Mahila Kisan Diwas, January 18, 2021, said the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC) in a press release.

The organisation said that the participation of women on Monday highlighted that 75 percent of all agricultural work is done by women and that the three farm Acts will ruin their livelihood and survival most of all. Farmer leaders said that women engaged in almost all forms of farming work such as sowing, transplanting, irrigation, weeding, harvesting, transporting, sorting, packing and in animal labour even dealt with rearing, provision of fodder, grazing, milking, cleaning, manufacture of dung cakes, processing of milk, etc.

Women farmers also submitted a memorandum addressed to the President of India demanding increase in MNREGA work and wages and an end to corruption. They also demanded land rights and pattas, Minimum Support Prices (MSP) of all crops at C2+50 percent, cheap loans and loan waiver for all farmers, transportation facilities, provision of equipment for food processing and sale of processed/semi processed foods in the market. Lastly they asked for pension and other social rights and protections.

“They demanded their share in the development of India, which is being handed over to the corporate and MNCs and said the new laws will be opposed till they are withdrawn,” said the AIKSCC.

Regarding the laws, women leaders said that the three Acts will jeopardise the Public Distribution System (PDS) and food security adversely affecting women.

“Women farmers are already in deep crisis due to implementation of enhanced electricity rates, inflated electricity bills and rising corruption. To correct them and [the] withdrawal of the Electricity Bill 2020 is becoming more and more popular all over India,” they said.

Women at the Singhu border voiced their dissent against the three agriculture laws forcibly passed by the central government – the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance & Farm Services Act, the Farmer’s Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act.

Similarly, thousands of women from Maharashtra and Gujarat celebrated Mahila Kisan Diwas at the Shahjahanpur farmer protest site on January 18, said the Sayukta Kisan Morcha (SKM).

Women took charge of the event at the Shahjahanpur-Kheda border along the Jaipur-Delhi Highway with cultural programs, street plays and speeches by women leaders. Moreover, women farmers in the vicinity also took out tractor marches to participate in the event.

“This movement will also be remembered for the pioneering contribution of women in the coming times,” said the SKM in a press release.

Women also participated in the gradual fasting for 24-hours. As many as 11 women farmers namely, Rajbala Yadav, Parameshwari, Geeta Chimpa, Ashwani Santosh Chauhan, Lata Bai Namdev, Sakubai Dhanraj, Shobhabai Shukra Lal, Mangal Shivaji Vag, Vanu Bai Jeera, Kammu Bai Manohar, Durga Devi and Manu Devi participated in the event.

Farmers from Maharashtra and Gujarat also participated in the day’s events as a response to the Supreme Court’s remarks on women’s participation in the farmers’ protest.

Women leaders took centre stage with leaders such as Pratibha Shinde, Chandrakala, Nisha, Rajbala and Varsha Deshpande making speeches about women’s role in the protest. Similarly, other speaker such as Rukmini, Varsha Chopra, Sumitra Chopra, Kavita Srivastava, Sunita Chaturvedi, Pratibha Shinde, Raija Bai and Manju Yadav also spoke and resolved to further increase the participation of women in the movement.


Maharashtra women’s groups also observed similar protests in parts of the state as well.


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